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Review 3688: Owner, Casa d'Artista


Review by Viy McGaughy from OH

1bed/1bath apartment in Scarlino, Tuscany West


July 2 - 5, 2008, 3 nights


Ah, Scarlino! A hidden jewel in the Tuscan province of Grosseto. At almost 300 meters above sea level, this medieval hill town overlooks the coastal plain of the Maremma. In the distance, on a clear day, one can see the island of Elba. Only 9 kilometers away from the bustling town of Follonica, Scarlino is as charming as any of the more renowned and touristy Tuscan hill towns further inland. The ruins of the 12th century castle-fortress locally known as “Rocca” guard the southeastern end of the town. Its parking area is the best place to leave one’s car when visiting the town or when staying at one of the holiday apartments in town. The old town of Scarlino is “downhill” from this spot and the main piazza (with a half-bust of Guiseppe Garibaldi) is located about midway down the hill.

We stayed at one (Casa d’Artista) of the two apartments in the home of Scarlino-based artist, Mauro Corbani and his wife, Laura. The house is historical and old as evidenced by the thick walls, old beams and etched dates. Mauro’s art is everywhere: the façade of their home, in the apartment rooms and in the garden. The spacious and well-appointed apartment has an independent entrance, through a wonderfully decorated gate. It also has direct access to the garden where one can have dinner under a vine-covered pergola and where the views of the Tyrrhenian Sea compete with Mauro’s wonderful sculptures and totems that are evocative of rhythm, dance and music.

Mauro and Laura are warm and gracious hosts. Mauro, who is mainly responsible for running the rentals, is very helpful. His recommendations about places to visit (Massa Maritima, 30 minutes away), places for dinner (Enoteca L’Osteria) are spot-on.

One place, which we had planned on visiting which also got Mauro’s enthusiastic endorsement, is Cala Violina, one of Italy’s most beautiful beaches. It is not as crowded as the beaches of Follonica probably because one has to walk about 1.5 kilometers through the forest to get to the beach. But the journey is well worth the hike ... very much like a stay in Scarlino and Casa d’Artista.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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